PYONGYANG, North Korea (AP) — North Korean leader Kim Jong Un said he is open to a third summit with President Donald Trump, but set the year's end as a deadline for Washington to offer mutually acceptable terms for an agreement to salvage the high-stakes nuclear diplomacy, the state-run media said Saturday. Kim made the comments during a speech Friday at a session of the North Korea's rubber-stamp parliament, which made a slew of personnel changes that bolstered his diplomatic lineup amid stalemated negotiations with the United States. His speech came hours after Trump and visiting South Korean President Moon Jae-in met in Washington and agreed on the importance of nuclear talks with North Korea.
WASHINGTON (AP) — Finance officials from the world's major powers acknowledged Friday that the global economy is in a slowdown, but they forecast that growth will pick up by the second half of this year, thanks to interest-rate policies from the Federal Reserve and other central banks. Officials of the Group of 20 major economies said at the conclusion of their talks that growth had slowed at the end of last year and the beginning of this year due to factors such as turbulent financial markets and heightened tension over trade and interest rates. But with a switch led by the Federal Reserve to looser monetary policy this year, the stage has been set for a rebound in growth.
SANTIAGO, Chile (AP) — U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Friday that China's financing of President Nicolás Maduro's government is prolonging the crisis in Venezuela. Pompeo kicked off a four-country tour of Latin America in Chile, where he met with President Sebastián Piñera to discuss the U.S.-China trade war and the Venezuelan crisis. Hyperinflation, shortages of food and medicine and other hardships have forced more than 3 million Venezuelans — about one-tenth of the population — to flee the country in the last few years. "China's bankrolling of the Maduro regime helped precipitate and prolong the crisis in that country," Pompeo said, adding that China invested over $60 billion, "with no strings attached." "It's no surprise that Maduro used the money to use for tasks like paying off cronies, crushing pro-democracy activists, and funding ineffective social programs," he said.
A New York City restaurant owner who touted her "clean" American-Chinese cuisine and derided Chinese dishes as swimming in "globs of processed butter," sodium and MSG is renewing the long-simmering debate about stereotyping and cultural appropriation in the restaurant world. Arielle Haspel, who is white and a certified health coach, told the dining website Eater that she wanted to offer modified, "clean" versions of typical Chinese menu items. In a now deleted Instagram post, Haspel said that a Chinese noodle dish, lo mein, can make people feel "bloated and icky." Online critics pounced, including New York Baohaus restaurateur and author Eddie Huang who dismissed Lucky Lee's as "the Fyre Fest of food & 'wellness,'" on the restaurant's Instagram page.
SYDNEY (AP) — Australia said on Friday it would oppose the death penalty for Julian Assange if he's extradited to the United States, as protesters in Sydney called for his release and Australia's journalists' union voiced its strong support for him. The Australian WikiLeaks founder was arrested Thursday in London's Ecuadorian Embassy and the judge found him guilty of breaching his bail conditions. He faces a U.S. charge of conspiring to reveal government secrets. Prime Minister Scott Morrison said any extradition plans had "nothing to do with Australia," and that Assange would receive only standard assistance from Australian consular officials. Tthe 47-year-old would have to face the consequences of any breach of the law in foreign jurisdictions, Morrison said.
KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia (AP) — Malaysia's government said Friday it has decided to resume a China-backed rail link project, after the Chinese contractor agreed to cut the construction cost by one-third. The deal follows months of vacillating over the East Coast Rail Link, which connects Malaysia's west coast to eastern rural states and is a key part of China's Belt and Road infrastructure initiative. It should also help bolster ties between China and Malaysia that were strained when Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad suspended the project after his election last May. The prime minister's office said in a statement that the construction cost of the first two phases of the project will be cut to 44 billion ringgit ($10.7 billion), down from the original cost of 65.5 billion ringgit ($15.9 billion).
BRUSSELS (AP) — In a decision decried as "deeply flawed" and a "devastating blow for victims," International Criminal Court judges on Friday rejected a request by the court's prosecutor to open an investigation into war crimes and crimes against humanity in Afghanistan and alleged crimes by U.S. forces linked to the conflict. In a lengthy written ruling, judges said an investigation "would not serve the interests of justice" because an investigation and prosecution were unlikely to be successful, as those targeted, including the United States, Afghan authorities and the Taliban, are not expected to cooperate, the court said in a statement.
Election officials sailed boats and ships, trekked through dense forest and summited mountains to carry voting machines to even the most remote parts of India for national elections. The mammoth vote that began on Thursday ends May 19, and counting will he held on May 23. Four people were killed in election-related clashes in three Indian states. Still, in most places, the atmosphere was festive with men and women in colorful traditional attire heading to voting stations to cast ballots on electronic voting machines. Voting also took place in parts of troubled Kashmir where insurgents fighting against Indian rule called for a boycott.
JAKARTA, Indonesia (AP) — Indonesia's geophysics agency said it has ended a tsunami warning that was triggered by a strong earthquake Friday east of Sulawesi island. The U.S. Geological Survey said the quake, which was centered at a depth of 17 kilometers (10.5 miles), had a magnitude of 6.8. The epicenter of the quake was far from the central Sulawesi city of Palu, which was devastated by an earthquake and tsunami in September, but it was felt there and and people ran into the streets in panic. Disaster agency spokesman Sutopo Purwo Nugroho said the quake was felt in different areas for 4-6 seconds.
SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — The World Trade Organization has upheld South Korea's import ban on Japanese seafood from areas affected by the 2011 nuclear disaster in Fukushima, overturning a ruling by a lower panel last year that said Seoul was unfairly discriminating against Japanese products. The decision is a setback for Japan, which has promoted Fukushima's recovery from the nuclear disaster and the safety of its agricultural and fisheries products ahead of next year's Summer Olympics in Tokyo. South Korea on Friday welcomed the decision and said it will continue to block all fishery products from Fukushima and seven neighboring prefectures to ensure "only foods that are confirmed as safe are put on the table." Japan said the WTO ruling was "extremely regrettable" and vowed to get the import ban reversed through bilateral talks with South Korea.